Follow the lack of money
Jeff Jarvis is looking for better stewards of journalism's future. He explains,
I don’t see enough development going on in new news efforts enough to save journalism from the sinking news business. And that’s what’s troubling me. The old players are proving to be quite ineffective stewards we knew that but there aren’t enough new stewards joining the church.
Problem is, you can't make a new business out of an old business that's turned into a church. Wall Street isn't up for that, and most of the big papers work for Wall Street. The word "stewardship" alone is a boat anchor on any company's stock price.
Frankly, it'll be a long time before newspapers fail, if they ever do. And magazines remain a healthy, if not a high-growth, business. Papers like the L.A. Times are actually quite profitable. They're just not profitable enough to satisfy Wall Street.
That's why I'm beginning to think that fixing big-J journalism (that is, fixing newspapers) with Yet Another Business is like fixing Catholicism with Protestantism, or fixing Windows with MacOS.
Computing gets better all the time because the operating systems business is being steadily replaced by building materials (mostly Linux) and practices (FOSS) that grow wild in human nature and are hardly businesses at all. Yet they're extraordinarily good for business, because they create a solid infrastructure on top of which all kinds of "solutions" can be built.
The same thing needs to happen in journalism.
Scoop Nisker famously says "if you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own". That's what Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds and thousands (millions?) of other independent developers have been doing with tools, operating systems and other building materials required to re-make computing in ways that were not captive to any vendor's controlling interests. The result is much more freedom for many more vendors to go into all kinds of businesses that put free and open materials and methods to use.
We're seeing some of that happen in news gathering and distribution. Thanks to the features Dave Winer put in RSS, publishing now has a revolutionary set of free distribution and subscription methods for everybody, from one-person blogs to the New York Times.
We need more tools like RSS, and more people using them, in more creative ways. Most of all, we need more journalists (of both new and aged vintages) to take advantage of these new tools and methods. Once they do, the business will follow.
The old players can’t do it. We need more new players to take hold of the future of news not just journalists but entrepreneurs and managers and investors and inventors. It’s there for the taking.
I think Jeff's right. I also think you need the inventors first.
That's a hint, by the way.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal
|Bitcoin on Amazon! Sort of...||Sep 28, 2016|
|Free Today: September Issue of Linux Journal (Retail value: $5.99)||Sep 27, 2016|
|nginx||Sep 27, 2016|
|Epiq Solutions' Sidekiq M.2||Sep 26, 2016|
|Nativ Disc||Sep 23, 2016|
|Android Browser Security--What You Haven't Been Told||Sep 22, 2016|
- Free Today: September Issue of Linux Journal (Retail value: $5.99)
- Android Browser Security--What You Haven't Been Told
- Bitcoin on Amazon! Sort of...
- Epiq Solutions' Sidekiq M.2
- Readers' Choice Awards 2013
- The Many Paths to a Solution
- Nativ Disc
- Identity: Our Last Stand
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
Pick up any e-commerce web or mobile app today, and you’ll be holding a mashup of interconnected applications and services from a variety of different providers. For instance, when you connect to Amazon’s e-commerce app, cookies, tags and pixels that are monitored by solutions like Exact Target, BazaarVoice, Bing, Shopzilla, Liveramp and Google Tag Manager track every action you take. You’re presented with special offers and coupons based on your viewing and buying patterns. If you find something you want for your birthday, a third party manages your wish list, which you can share through multiple social- media outlets or email to a friend. When you select something to buy, you find yourself presented with similar items as kind suggestions. And when you finally check out, you’re offered the ability to pay with promo codes, gifts cards, PayPal or a variety of credit cards.Get the Guide